Grande Prairie’s mayor says the results of the 2016 census give the city a better idea of who left during the economic downtown. The city’s average age has risen to 33.5 years since 2011, which Bill Given says he wasn’t surprised by.
“I think many of the people that we may have lost from the community during the economic downturn were likely younger people that were here for work opportunities, and so I really think that is a reflection of the change in our economy.
A municipal census taken in 2015 pegged the Swan City’s population at around 68,500 people, but the federal one in 2016 came in much lower at just over 63,000. Given notes that the time of the national survey may have affected the city’s results.
“The 2016 census was taken really right in the heart of the downturn, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that those younger people who are potentially more transient or more mobile may have left the community, while older, more established residents stayed.”
The city has three times the number of children under five than it does seniors, and double the millennials than it has baby boomers. For the first time, all of Canada has more seniors than children, with only the Prairies going against the trend. Its average age rose to 41.